October means a few things (in no particular order)...
• Pumpkin Spiced Lattes
• And, Cybersecurity Awareness Month
While October is known for its scares, nothing is scarier than the relentless cyber threats we learn about during Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a joint effort that started 17 years ago and is brought to technology users everywhere by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Each year, the month of October is dedicated to educating people like you and I on how to follow best practices online by providing the latest cybersecurity information to keep us safe.
This year’s theme is Do Your Part #BeCyberSmart, serving as a reminder to individuals and businesses for the role they play in staying safe online, at home and in the workplace. For if each person does their part, we can collectively reduce the risk of harmful cyber attacks.
Today, our world is filled with technology. From laptops all the way to smart thermostats, even our phones act as small PCs conveniently tucked in our pockets. Never before has streamlining communication been so easy. However, like Spiderman’s Uncle Ben iconically said, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
As you introduce more devices into your personal or professional life, your chances of becoming a victim of a security breach increases—there are simply more opportunities for cyber criminals to attack. For this reason, Do Your Part #BeCyberSmart is meant to emphasize the importance of securing all devices in your home and work environments.
Ready to do your part?
You can strengthen your security tactics TODAY by practicing these top 6 tips.
If You Connect It, Protect It
Be sure to install antivirus software on your PC and other smart devices. As reported by Netscout, it only takes 5 minutes after a device is connected to the internet before hackers start attacking its firewall. This is why it is important to configure your electronics and their applications to be as secure as can be.
Passwords Are Key
Passwords are your keys to your online kingdom. Be sure to use strong, unique, and complex passwords for both your personal and professional accounts and keep them private. You can also keep cybercriminals at bay by enabling two or multi-factor authentication. Added security measures like this work great for accounts that hold sensitive information.
Keep it Current
We’ve all been guilty of hitting the “remind me later” when a software update becomes available. However, try not to neglect your machine too long from its essential updates. They enable your device to run smoother, function safer, and eliminates previous glitches or bugs. You can avoid forgetting to do so by enabling automatic updates in your computer’s settings.
Privacy = Sharing Less
Before posting or sharing any information online, consider its consequences. What does the post reveal about you? Who will see this post? Public accounts will allow anyone (hackers included) any personal information that may be given unconsciously including children and pet names, addresses, and current location. Consider switching any public accounts to private and only share limited information with those you know and trust.
Don’t Get Hooked
Cybercriminals’ phishing attempts are becoming more and more difficult to identify. They cleverly draft their scams to appear legitimate by mimicking language, banners, and even signatures of those that you would normally trust. One of the biggest red flags to look out for is if the sender is asking you to act immediately or with urgency. These words are meant to scare you into clicking malicious links or entering sensitive information that you normally wouldn’t. If in doubt if the email is real or not, it is always better to call the known organization or sender directly.
Trouble with WiFi
As tempting as coffee shops and airport wifi might be, avoid connecting to publicly open networks. When connected to public wifi and hotspots, your online activity is just that-- public. Potentially anyone can watch what you are doing on your device at any given moment. This can be especially dangerous when typing in credentials, checking your email, or accessing your banking info. Instead, opt for a more secure alternative like a virtual private network (VPN) or personal hotspot.
Looking to protect your business further?
Our clients enjoy 24/7/365 system monitoring, ongoing cybersecurity training, the latest tools, and a team of cybersecurity experts on call to help keep hackers out of your business.
Schedule a 10-minute call to tell us more about what scares you and we can discuss how to keep your environment secure.